My special interest has been in singing as the basis of all music making. I have wondered why so many vocally talented singers reach their limits so early, and careers end or never happen at all. I ask, “How often is nothing more than a superficial al-fresco singing without details possible? Why am I neither moved by the voice nor the music? Why does a true understanding of the composition with all of its thousand facets seem to be so difficult?”
I wanted to take a closer look, and for many years, I took voice lessons with Prof. Olga Hofmann. I was solely interested in vocal technique. That, which I experienced personally, confirmed my experiences as an opera conductor. Vocal problems and musical difficulties in the execution can often be solved through a heightened attention to the inner compositional workings of a piece.
That's what I am about as a conductor. I do not describe my task as a search for an interpretation or a personal idea, but the finding of that which the composer meant to say - his truth. The truth can mean something different to everyone is a given, but to lead singers and musicians can only be successful if the participants freely entrust themselves to the leadership through the music.
Attentive listening is of central importance for the development of musical imagination. The ear is directed internally and, unlike the eye, much more sensitive and precise. In printed music, we only observe the surface of what it actually describes. But in time, if we rely more and more on the visible, we do not do justice to music as an audio-art.
With many singers, I notice the misconception that musical problems can be solved through vocal technique. In reality, they can only be solved through a deeper understanding of the music - just like vocal problems can only be solved through perfection of the vocal technique. When there is confusion about this, and the artist and his instrument are viewed separately, limits are reached quickly. Then it is no longer about the music to be played (and all it's inner and outer properties created by the composer), but exclusively about how to get there. In music, the “what” is important, not the “how.”
The intensive, patient, and time-consuming work of the opera conductors of the early generation rehearsing the singers and the ensemble is today more an exception than the rule. That is why every singer ought to take full responsibility, not only for his voice, but also his musical credibility.
The music - and only the music - shows the voice the way. It is the only certainty a singer can have. The deeper and more passionately you connect with the music that you sing and strive to be one with it, the easier the way will be.
"One needs a heart, a big mouth, musicality...."
My coaching is directed towards singers who would like to expand the limits of their vocal and musical possibilities, who would like to gain expressiveness, or to those who are blocked. While working on your repertoire, we will find a new, intensive approach to the music.
I am concerned with all practical aspects of a performance and its preparation. As a conductor, I make you more aware of the communal music making with the orchestra and cultivate in you the necessary qualities of musical leadership and cooperation. We neither look for the reasons of ‘deficits’ nor work on the ‘improvement’ of mistakes. I will pick up exactly where you are at any given point in time. Our work together is supposed to teach you as a singer how to help yourself. In that way, our work is true to the label ‘coaching.’
In our work together, you will experience how to figure out what the composer thought as he was writing his music. That is the way of translating libretto and notes into the language of music. Most questions concerning style and performance practice can be unambiguously answered through the music itself. I hope to set you on the path where you act and interpret all musical material with certainty.
"Being able to change is the noblest gift of mankind "
My classes are for singers who would like to expand or polish their repertoire, but also for students who are preparing for auditions and competitions. You are welcome to bring your own pianist or accompanist; I will actively work with him or her as well. In a professional rehearsal setting, we will work on issues of musical preparation, vocal physiological demands, and personal interpretation. By the end, you will have developed your own method of how to successfully translate the score notation into music as the composer heard it. Through both actively participating and observing, one develops an even greater clarity of how one perceives the composition.
The master classes are devoted to multiple areas of the repertoire, for example, Italian and German opera, classical German Lied, Sacred Music, or Vienna Operetta. To get as much as possible out of the class, you should have prepared your repertoire well. Alongside the solo repertoire, duet and small ensemble coachings are available to any willing participants. Additional Audition-Training and Singing Diction and Articulation classes are offered as part of the program upon request. The master class finishes with a public studio concert where all participants have the opportunity to share the results of their work.
"Curiosity can only develop through enthusiasm, and only one who is curios, can learn."